Children from the countryside are shaped differently than children from the city. This also applies across cultures and landscapes.
Why is football less popular in Norway than winter sports? One reason will be the long winter. Another reason is that many winter sports are individual sports that are easier to train in a low population density than team sports. This is because you need not only enough people for your own team, but also for opposing teams. The place where you grow up, for example, decides about your favourite sport.
The landscape shapes not only the landscape, but also the population.
At Lake Inarisee in Finland there is no spectacular view as in the fjords of Norway. But idyllic loneliness. Small waves are running relaxed over the water and the wind is whispering quietly through the forest. No traffic. Not a soul.
The blue sky and the radiant blue water on the one hand give one endless expanse, but the view and also the thoughts are captured by the forests; one feels safe in the freedom.
What does such a place do with its inhabitants and how does it affect personal development?
Many things shape us. The parents, friends, family, the whole environment. But it also shapes you when you grow up in nowhere. The streets of Lapland run through endless forests. In between, there are no free areas that are used for agriculture, but only a few lakes from time to time. Even towns and villages perish in the endless forests, because they are not densely built-up and, in contrast to the Black Forest, for example, not the entire inhabited area was cleared, but only the areas used for infrastructure. The villages are therefore more strongly integrated into the forest and are dominated by the main roads that run through them, on which speed only has to be reduced in larger cities.
Can culture-specific characteristics be read from a cultural landscape?
I doubt that scientific methods, which would have to be defined, can be used to analyse which regions have which characteristics. One would have to consider not only the natural environment, but also human changes in order to derive cultural, formative connections from them.
But I find the idea interesting and wonder what happens if you don’t fit in with the landscape yourself? Should one then rather emigrate? But where to? There is no map that shows which area would be of advantage to you. You can only find that out by travelling.
When travelling, however, you run the risk of categorising places by clichés and visiting them for that reason: you go to Ballermann to celebrate and to Italy for La Dolce Vita. And if you want to know something about the world, it’s best to travel the whole world.
During a journey, you only scratch the surface of the cultural landscape. But even a scientific examination would not be all-encompassing, but could only analyse individual points. But I would also find it exciting to find out whether people in less densely populated regions are more relaxed and less stressed. And if so, and if so what influence the topography has. What difference does it make whether I grow up in the fantastic fjords of Norway, flat Finland or the Sahara?